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December/January 2010/2011 (vol. 07/4)

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Research Plus

Mouldy work causes asthma

Research carried out by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health establishes a causal link between exposure to damp and mouldy work environments and new-onset occupational asthma (OA). Specific IgE-mediated sensitisation to moulds was found in only 20% of probable OA cases and the mechanism for asthma onset remains unknown. Serial peak expiratory flow monitoring is the best diagnostic tool (superior to specific inhalation challenge tests). Damp/mouldy work environments also exacerbate symptoms in those with pre-existing asthma.

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 2010; 83: 855–865.

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Occupational Health at Work December/January 2010/2011 (vol. 07/4) pp44